Printable version of the Summary and Response Rubric (pdf)

Rubric Breakdown

Summary & Critical Reading (25% of the overall grade)

Grade Ranking

Neutrally and accurately synthesizes the main ideas and argument of text, along with key supporting claims, in original language.

Demonstrates deep intellectual engagement with and understanding of material.

B

Accurately summarizes main argument in original language, may overlook one or two key supporting points.

Demonstrates engagement with and solid understanding of material.

C

Accurately summarizes the main argument in original language though summary may be overly general, vague or overlook key supporting claims.

Demonstrates surface level engagement with material and limited, if accurate, understanding.

D

Captures some of the main ideas, though missing a summary of the larger argument. Most in original language.

Little engagement with text and/or partial understanding of material. May interject opinion rather than neutrally summarizing the author’s ideas.

F

Mainly quotes from or relies too heavily on original wording and/or inaccurately represents the author’s argument and/or summary focuses on personal opinion rather than neutrally presenting the text.

Demonstrates little to no engagement with the text and/or inaccurate understanding.

Response/Thesis (25% of the overall grade)

Grade Ranking

The thesis demonstrates insightful engagement with and a clear, detailed, compelling argument in response to the text, regarding its effectiveness or significance.

B

The thesis demonstrates engagement with text and a clear compelling argument in response to the text, regarding its effectiveness or significance, though may be lacking in specificity or detail.

C

The thesis clearly responds to text, though argument may be vague or lacking in critical engagement.

D

The thesis lacks clarity or a clear argument/engagement with text.

F

No discernible thesis. Little to no evidence of engagement with or understanding of the text.

Organization & Development (20% of the overall grade)

Grade Ranking

Provides an effective organizational structure that includes sophisticated introductory and conclusion paragraphs.

All body paragraphs include well-developed summary and critique with strong topic sentences, effective sequencing of ideas and smooth transitions.

B

Provides an organizational structure that includes an effective introduction and conclusion.

Body paragraphs include well-developed summary and critique with effective topic sentences, sequencing of ideas and transitions, though some development may be needed.

C

Includes an introduction and conclusion, though some development may be needed. 

Body paragraphs include summary and critique,  most containing recognizable topic sentences. Sequencing of ideas and transitions may be illogical or  lacking at times.

D

Includes an introduction and conclusion, yet they contain ambiguities or irrelevant information.

Body paragraphs include summary and critique, but sequencing of ideas is illogical or hard to follow. Ineffective transitions.

F

The essay lacks an organizational strategy on both the paragraph and sentence levels.

Style, Grammar & Syntax (20% of the overall grade)

Grade Ranking

Tone is rhetorically effective, and ideas are clearly articulated using precise word choice and varied sentence structures.

Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are conventionally appropriate with very few errors, none of which interferes with coherence.

B

Tone is rhetorically effective, and ideas are clearly articulated using precise word choice and varied sentence structures, though some sentences may include minor phrasing or word choice issues.

Contains no distracting patterns of grammar, spelling and punctuation errors.

C

The essay has no pervasive pattern of sentence-level incoherence, but tone is inconsistent, sometimes lacking sentence variety and effective word choice.

Includes some distracting, but not serious, problems in grammar, spelling and punctuation.

D

The essay contains patterns of sentence-level incoherence and lacks sentence variety and effective word choice.

Includes many distracting errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

F

Serious sentence-level incoherence, no sentence variety and ineffective word choice.

Grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors obstruct meaning. 

Format & Basic Requirements (10% of the overall grade)

Grade Ranking

Adheres to all assignment requirements regarding MLA formatting, length, and topic.

B

Adheres to assignment requirements concerning length and topic with very few MLA formatting issues.

C

Mostly adheres to assignment requirements concerning length and topic with few MLA formatting issues.

D

Fails to adhere to essay length or topic requirements and includes consistent MLA formatting issues.

F

Fails to adhere to all assignment requirements, the prompt, and/or includes plagiarism.